These are some basic tips to help you develop your business website.
1. Use a white background, blue links, and easy to read fonts. Easy to read fonts meaning some sort of Sans font. White background is clean and nice. It contrasts with a lot of colors you can put on the page. Black does too – but black is too dark, depressing. White is upbeat and for business websites you need upbeat! Blue links because for 15 years we’ve been taught that blue means a link. Don’t try to change it now!
2. Don’t use Times New Roman font for your business website. It’s old. It’s been overused to death. Trebuchet MS, Arial, Verdana for small (10pt or less) text works well.
3. Essential pages:
- About – about the business, about the owners and staff of the business.
- Contact – Have a contact page to show how to reach you by phone, fax, email, on Twitter, through Skype, every way you want to be reached.
- Disclaimer – disclaim everything to protect you from lawsuits. Many people just copy another site’s disclaimer page and make changes to it to make it specific to their own site. Ideally a lawyer will develop one for your business site to cover all bases.
- FAQ – Answer any and all questions that aren’t already answered on the front page. Don’t assume someone will find all the answers if they’re hidden on pages – list them in the FAQ too.
- Email Form – a simple form visitors can fill out and send so they don’t need to open their email program. Make it very easy to contact you.
4. Put contact information on every page of your business site – maybe in the right hand column – and in the same place on every page. Visitors to your business website should be able to see instantly how to contact you.
5. Give something away in order to collect email addresses from visitors to your site. Most visitors are there once and never return. Try to convert a percentage of them into recurring visitors by collecting their email address so you can email them later.
6. Business websites sell something. You should be selling something on your site. Make it very clear how to go about ordering something you are selling. Clear “calls to action”, and answering every question a customer of your business has before he/she orders is essential.
7. Don’t use exclamation points, huge fonts, a mix of colors that you think catches people’s eyes. Visitors can spot hype from far away. Don’t use hype on your site unless you’re selling Sea Monkeys or some other children’s products!